CEM REPORT, ENERGY | Trade Unions in the country have called on the federal government to resolve the lingering issue of fuel shortage and price hike ravaging the country.
The trade unions said that the persistent shortages of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, had become a source of pain to the Nigerian people.
According to a statement signed by the Presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ayuba Wabba and Festus Osifo on Saturday in Abuja, fuel shortages, price, and avoidable long queues in filling stations are unacceptable, and no longer tolerable.
The labour leaders decried the persistent shortage and uncontrollable prices that players in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry were meting out to Nigerians.
They noted that this had led not just to long avoidable queues, but to adulteration of the product by unscrupulous elements, exploitation of the consumers, and turning fuel stations into traffic menace.
“All these have tragic consequences for the Nigerian people and debilitating effects on the health of the economy which itself is not in a good state.
“We are reliably informed that the shortage is deliberately fostered by players in the downstream sector in other to hike the price far above the government-approved threshold.
“It is an added problem when non-state actors begin to arrogate to themselves the power to determine the price of a litre of fuel far above the rate pegged by government in the current subsidy regime.”
According to the statement, the labour leaders also said that the Nigerian people and the taxpayers currently spend trillions of Naira annually to subsidise petrol noting that the same people could not be exploited and made to pay over N240 per litre when the current ex-depot price was N148.19k per litre.
Consequently, they called on the Federal Government to put an end to the avoidable, unnecessary, crippling, and pain-inducing fuel shortages and unapproved price hike of up to N240 per litre in the country.
They warned ”No excuse is good enough to cripple the country.
“If there are challenges, they should be fixed. We have a government in power to fix challenges not to make excuses.”
The statement said that Organised Labour is ready and willing to engage the Federal Government and assist in all ways possible to overcome the country’s present challenges.
It called on the regulatory and law enforcement agencies to do more to protect Nigerians from exploitation.